Wool Season 2015

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At long last we have had some fine weather in Shetland which has spurred on the shearing and we now are well and truly into our wool season. All manner of vehicles roll up to our large green doors and unload their wool clip, so far we have shipped 2 loads, over 40,000 kilos, and are well through grading and packing load 3.

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We would encourage our crofters and farmers to take great care of their wool clip, especially avoiding shearing damp wool, as this can affect the financial returns to the producer. Our prices remain very high and this season we are pleased to say we are increasing the price of our Super Fine white grade by thirty pence per kilo.

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We are able to maintain and in the case of our Super Fine grade increase it due to our various products using all the grades of wool. As the main buyer of the Shetland wool clip handling approximately 80% of Shetland’s Wool from between 600 /700 crofters and farmers, it is our responsibility to seek out new products and marketing opportunities to ensure a secure and fast payment to all our customers. Our registered brand the three sheep logo guarantees the user of our products of the authenticity and traceability of our Real Shetland wool.

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In the Woolstore Derek, Jan and Scott are working at baling up the clips coming in everyday in the large baler, we also have a smaller baler in the middle store which Oliver is currently using, in the middle store we also have some of the oldest pieces of equipment at Jamieson & Smith, our wicker wool baskets.

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These baskets are now nearly 100 years old, we took ownership of them from another Shetland Textile company, Pole & Hoseason of Mossbank in 1960 and their sturdy construction, flexibility and durability make them ideal for grading and sorting wool. Prior to the mid 1960’s there were many rural and island shops in Shetland that would also trade in Wool, now there are only 3 other handlers of the local clip who deal with the remaining 20%. This photo from the Shetland Museum and archives shows one of the same baskets in use in 1958.

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photo courtesy of the Shetland Museum and Archives

As technology improves in the industry its interesting to see how although many things move forward because we still hand grade and hand sort all the wool that comes in we still have a need for these timeless items. I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the Woolstore in the wool season, til next time..

Happy Knitting! x

7 thoughts on “Wool Season 2015

  1. jemtext July 25, 2015 / 10:12 am

    Another great interesting post, thanks.

  2. curtthesheep July 25, 2015 / 11:17 am

    If I was selling lager I would say, “Probably the best wool in the world!”
    We need every kilo we can buy and we pay for it in full in record time.
    The guarantee of authenticity via the 3 Sheep Logo is vital for the crofters and sheep producers of Shetland.
    Support from HRH The Prince of Wales, Campaign for Wool for Shetland Wool Week has been really helpful in publicising the Heritage of Real Shetland Wool.
    It is a shame that some products that claim to be made from Real Shetland wool that is grown in the Shetland Islands and that are supposedly spun in Shetland simply aren’t. That damages the natural way of life of the genuine wool producers.

  3. Susan July 25, 2015 / 2:56 pm

    Those wicker baskets were a treat to see! Good on ya!! All that delicious wool……..thanks.

  4. Laurie Weinsoft July 25, 2015 / 3:03 pm

    All I could think of was all that wool and how much I would love to be there helping you sort. As a hand spinner, I love the process of sorting and preparing my wool fleeces I buy for spinning. It is the care you put in that makes your yarn so special.

  5. Angela Dent July 25, 2015 / 8:01 pm

    I love your posts. It’s so interesting to see what goes on in the production of wool. Thank you for taking the time to write them.

  6. Carla Taylor July 28, 2015 / 10:01 am

    Really great blog!! very inspiring! and it makes me very proud of our heritage of British wool!! I hope that one day I will be able to come and see it for myself! but in the meantime at least I can read what you are all up to and spread the word of using British wool!

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